Inside the Middle East - Blog
April 30, 2008
Breakfast News: Israeli Jeweller Not Welcome In Dubai

Another interesting item that got my attention while reading the local paper over breakfast today:

"Israeli Jeweller Has No Trade Licence To Open Shop In Dubai," reads the headline in today's Gulf News.

There is a whole lot of money floating around in Dubai ao who could blame Lev Leviev for wanting to open one (or more) of his self-named stores in the tiny emirate?

But, according to this article, no trade licence was granted to Israeli diamond magnate and the Dubai Department of Economic Development is quoted as saying that "Israeli citizens are not allowed to operate in Dubai."

Advocacy groups that oppose Leviev's investments in the U.A.E. say Leviev profits from companies that operate in the occupied territories.

The stores were supposed to open in the swanky Dubai Mall and the Atlantis Hotel later this year.

Who will win this one?
probably its a not a israeli jeweller, it must have been more like JEWISH jeweller...
It seems to me that CNN, with all its resources, can easily verify the fact that Leviev profits from investment in the Palestinian territories. In fact, he grabs Palestinian land and builds, on that land, hundreds of homes for Jews only, within the Palestinian territories. Quit saying that Leviev's critics "say" or "allege" that he is doing this. You know he's doing it.
From Defence for Children International, Palestine section, April 9:

Ms. Ann Veneman, 
Executive Director

Ramallah, 9 April 2008

Dear Ms. Veneman,
We are writing today to voice our concern about a matter that has been brought to our attention regarding the Israeli businessman Lev Leviev and his support to UNICEF.

Leviev owns companies that are responsible for building housing units in several settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), in contravention of international humanitarian law.

He has also supported UNICEF on three occasions in 2007/8, by sponsoring fundraising events and activities for UNICEF that were organized by the French magazine Gala.

We are aware that Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East has provided you with detailed information regarding Leviev’s settlement building in the oPt and his claims to be a direct partner of UNICEF. We are also aware that UNICEF has not yet taken a clear position in response to Adalah-NY's inquiries.

In the interest of protecting and ensuring the rights of Palestinian children, we - Defence for Children International-Palestine Section and the Palestinian Network for Children’s Rights - request that UNICEF rejects all support – both direct and indirect – from Lev Leviev; and, as a matter of urgency, publicly renounces any connections with him due to his involvement in settlement construction.

UNICEF cannot promote children's rights and international law, renounce settlements and simultaneously accept funds from a settlement builder. UNICEF knows as well as DCI-Palestine and all other child rights actors in the oPt that settlement construction is not only illegal but also has a profound negative impact on the lives of many Palestinian children.

In order to build these illegal colonies, the State of Israel has confiscated acres and acres of cultivated and non-cultivated privately-owned land, depriving scores of families of their assets and livelihood, thus severely compromising their ability and options to provide for their children. In some cases this leads to a reversal of roles, whereby the children have to drop out of school in order to help provide for their families, by working to supplement income or by saving their parents the need to pay for school fees.

For example, in the West Bank village of Jayyous, the construction of Leviev's settlement nearby and the construction of the wall to annex more land for the settlement has denied scores of families access to their farmland, leading to the drop out of a staggering 103 out of a total of 195 students in grades 7-12, according to the school’s headmaster.

Furthermore, the Israel/oPt Working Group on UN Security Council Resolution 1612 on Children and Armed Conflict (henceforth 1612 Working Group) has been monitoring and reporting on child rights violations that can be directly and indirectly attributed to the presence of settlements and settlers in the West Bank. As you are aware UNICEF is a founding member of this Working Group.

Settler violence is one of the most common violations linked to settlements. In 2007, the 1612 Working Group documented at least 17 incidents of settler violence, in which children were wilfully assaulted and/or kidnapped by settlers. While writing this letter, DCI received a report that on Monday 7th April, a 15 year old shepherd from Salim, a village near the West Bank city of Nablus, was run over and killed by a settler bus, while grazing his flock of sheep.

Another horrific example is the case of 15 year old Amran F., who, while tending his sheep near Nablus was kidnapped, stripped, and severely beaten up by settlers to the point of losing consciousness several times last August1.

Military violence linked to the construction of the wall and settlements is another violation that children suffer. During popular protests against the illegal construction of the wall and the settlement of Mattityahu East on lands belonging to residents of the West Bank village of Bil’in, 13 children have been imprisoned and approximately 300 injured by the Israeli military over the space of three years, according to information provided by a community leader.

One of the companies building Mattiyahu East is a company owned by Leviev called Danya Cebus.
Restriction of movement and access to basic services such as education and healthcare is another common violation as a result of the settlements. In order to ensure separation, security and comfort for settlers and space for settlements, Israel has imposed an apartheid-like system comprising of settler-only roads, a 8-metre high concrete wall, numerous roadblocks and a policy of arbitrary closure which forbids Palestinians, including children, from accessing certain areas and moving from place to place.

The land confiscation, closure policies and settler violence are just three examples of factors that contribute to indirect forcible transfer of Palestinians, whereby entire families are invariably left with little choice but to abandon their homes, lands and livelihoods.

It is for these reasons that Defence for Children International-Palestine Section and the Palestinian Network for Children’s Rights sees UNICEF’s acceptance of in-kind or financial support from Leviev- whether direct or indirect – untenable. Leviev is publicly exploiting UNICEF's name to deflect scrutiny from his violations of international law. We must act to stop this exploitation. Consequently we urge UNICEF to take immediate steps towards publicly renouncing connections with Leviev and to stop accepting any kind of support from his companies.

Thanking you in advance for your attention to this matter

George Abu Al Zulof

General Director
Defence for Children International - Palestine Section

Palestinian Network for Children’s Rights


Mr. Bernt Aasen
Chief of Staff

UNICEF Middle East Regional Office

UNICEF Jerusalem Office

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

You think this is a war and someone has to win? What an inane question. Leviev funds illegal settlements in the West Bank. And he funds the worst kind, the settlers who terrorize Palestinian civilians on their own land. This man is a war profiteer and a war criminal. And you worry about whether he can open a jewelry store in Dubai? Why don't you write about the thousands of Palestinians, especially in Hebron, who have been denied the right to work in their own cities, because of these settler thugs? We are trying to get him out of New York as well.
I'm no great fan of the UAE government, but they made a good call in this case. Leviev is a disgrace to the Jewish people, and is actively working to undermine any hope of an Israeli/Palestinian peace agreement. The last thing we need is for this guy to have more money to build settlements!
Where is Defence For Children International when Israeli children are blown up on buses on their way to school,or in pizza parlours, or hit by kassam rockets in Sderot,or katyusha rockets in northern Israel, or attacked by arabs in a Jerusalem park.......?
The Dubai government official stated,
""Israeli citizens are not allowed to operate in Dubai." (actually he also stated that they also cannot partner with others in partnership, and that there are means to assure they don't)

That may be the official line, but it is far from the truth. The Dubai Diamond Exchange opened in 2004. Read this article "Jewish Diamonds Loved in Dubai"

Levant Jewelers has been around for a couple of years. It was in March that they had the grand opening of the second store with a representative from Leviev there and the announcement that there will be more stores opening. If you go to the Levant website and click boutiques, you will see that one store out of the five planned stores will have Leviev's name exclusively on it. But if you look at their products offered, Leviev is at the top of the list. The representative that was at the opening in March (Chaunu)stated in an interview for godubai:

• Why did you choose Levant to work with?
o Mr. Aref and Levant are very dynamic and savvy experts. They are excellent BUSINESS PARTNERS. It was much better for us to partner with someone who knows the market and can guide us in this region.

• How do you like Dubai?
o I pinch myself every time I come here. It is truly a remarkable place, the construction, the diversity of people is breath taking. The smiles you get, the welcome… that’s how the world should be

Is Leviev the only Israeli diamond dealer with an office in Dubai? No, he is not. Check out Leibish/fancy diamonds. This is an ISRAELI diamond dealer, founded in and headquartered in Israel

I am sure there are many others. Either that government official honestly didn't know what he was saying OR he is trying to cover up something that is widespread which by all appearances it is. Because if the reason given that no Israelis can do business in Dubai is true, he and others have some work on their hands ferreting out all those Israelis doing business comfortably in Dubai.
it should have been more like zionist/colonial jeweler.

kathir , don't cry anti-antisemitism . its getting boring...
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